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"I may have invented it, but Microsoft made it popular."

-- David Bradley, IBM Engineer


Although we tend to think of CTRL+ALT+DEL as a Microsoftism, it was really the invention of the engineers who created the IBM PC. David Bradley, manager of the original "Dirty Dozen" IBM PC engineers, takes credit.


One of Bradley's tasks was to engineer the keyboard. While working on early versions, he was getting tired of clicking the reset button and having to go through the power-on self test procedure. He needed a way to reboot the computer via the keyboard. He didn't want a simple "reboot" key as it would be too easy to accidentally restart the computer. He picked CTRL+ALT+DEL because it seemed like a particularly hard combination to press accidentally. His two criteria were at least two of the keys had to be far apart and the combination had to be easy to remember.


It took Bradley five minutes to write the CTRL+ALT+DEL code.


-- Karl Mamer




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